UC Berkeley Haas Admissions FAQ Highlights
If you haven’t visited the FAQ pages of your target schools, I highly recommend it. Among a lot of standard information similar across schools, there are often school-specific policies and procedures that may impact your application strategy. These include whether or not applying in earlier rounds is advantageous (UCLA - yes, Kellogg - no difference between round 1 and 2); whether you can submit additional materials/test scores after you’ve submitted your application (HBS, Stanford - no, Wharton - yes, but no guarantee it will be considered, Kellogg - only changes in data, but that includes test scores); and do campus visits strengthen an application (Wharton, Kellogg - no). I’ll be sifting through them over the next few weeks and posting what I think are the most interesting bits. From the Haas Admissions FAQ:
In which Round should I apply? How important is it to apply in Round One? Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible, provided that you do not sacrifice the quality of your application to do so. If you find that you need more time to revise your essays or to retake the GMAT, for example, you should definitely take the extra time to do so. Do note, however, that we make most of our offers of admission from Rounds 1, 2, and 3. Only a small number of Round 4 applicants are offered admission each year.
My Note: The earlier the better. It is a tough decision, especially between Round 1 and Round 2 for applicants with GMATs in the mid-600 range. My advice is that if, aside from your GMAT score, you have an outstanding personal and professional profile and your application materials express that fact, then you should strongly consider applying in the 1st round. There is no guarantee you will raise your test scores later, but there is a clear advantage to applying early.